Doc Searls says Scoble is full of it about “social media”

Heheh, Doc Searls takes 349 words to say that I’m full of it when I talk about what the term Social Media means. Well, actually, he didn’t even name me or link to me, but the gesture is the same when he says he avoids using terms like “Social Media” and “Web 2.0.” UPDATE: I should have noted that Doc is actually replying to Brian Solis post about “what’s wrong with ‘social media’?”

Remember rule #10 on the Corporate Weblog Manifesto? That still applies.

But, since Doc didn’t give us a good name for this new media collection (blogs, wikis, Web 2.0 voting sites, etc) then I think we’ll just rename it all to “Doc Searls Media.”

I don’t care what you call it. Something is going on here and I’m a simpleton and love to have a name for the bag of things that are happening.

Published by

Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace's startup program. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books ("The Age of Context," a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at http://amzn.to/AgeOfContext ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he's followed by millions of people. Best place to watch me is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble

Comments

  1. Don’t believe in 10 blindly. After all Doc Searls is not a businessman like Calacanis or Whiner – but just a writer. You shouldn’t trust him blindly therefore. I think he is missing out on many points – to express it mildly.

    Regarding Social Media: it is like with aliens – they exists whether you believe them or not.

    In this issue of Social Media your son Patrick has more authority than Doc Searls!

  2. It’s just the kind of animal we are: We love to sort things into bags and put labels on the bags. We can’t help it. Looking for patterns is part of how our brains are wire. (That cloud looks like a camel. The moon has a face in it. So does Mars.)

    Some people are so good at finding patterns and labeling them that they can get famous and/or rich at it.

    Marketers & entrepreneurs love to do it. If you can claim the thing you are trying to sell or fund is part of an inevitable wave, you get to shake the money tree a little more vigorously.

    But most patterns in blogs and PowerPoints have no more reality than the face on Mars or the cloud that looks like a camel.

    You’d like to think that Papa’s got a brand new bag, but that’s just start-ups chasing valuation.

    There’s much more continuity and intertwingling with new and old media than social media and Web 2.0 hucksters can afford to admit.

    Rule #10 rules.

  3. It’s just the kind of animal we are: We love to sort things into bags and put labels on the bags. We can’t help it. Looking for patterns is part of how our brains are wire. (That cloud looks like a camel. The moon has a face in it. So does Mars.)

    Some people are so good at finding patterns and labeling them that they can get famous and/or rich at it.

    Marketers & entrepreneurs love to do it. If you can claim the thing you are trying to sell or fund is part of an inevitable wave, you get to shake the money tree a little more vigorously.

    But most patterns in blogs and PowerPoints have no more reality than the face on Mars or the cloud that looks like a camel.

    You’d like to think that Papa’s got a brand new bag, but that’s just start-ups chasing valuation.

    There’s much more continuity and intertwingling with new and old media than social media and Web 2.0 hucksters can afford to admit.

    Rule #10 rules.

  4. Don’t believe in 10 blindly. After all Doc Searls is not a businessman like Calacanis or Whiner – but just a writer. You shouldn’t trust him blindly therefore. I think he is missing out on many points – to express it mildly.

    Regarding Social Media: it is like with aliens – they exists whether you believe them or not.

    In this issue of Social Media your son Patrick has more authority than Doc Searls!

  5. @2. “Just a writer” is one key. Many people who write or make music or films focus on what they are making, not on its classification. Business people love to talk about “content” and “media.” as if it’s just so much slurry to be packaged by the kilobyte. “Patrick” is another. What does he call it?

  6. @2. “Just a writer” is one key. Many people who write or make music or films focus on what they are making, not on its classification. Business people love to talk about “content” and “media.” as if it’s just so much slurry to be packaged by the kilobyte. “Patrick” is another. What does he call it?

  7. Doc gets a bit poetic about the humanizing nature of the Internet sometimes. It must be a lingering effect of the 60s. I certainly don’t believe that something written on a blog “authors me” in any way.

    I concur with post 2, don’t believe in 10 blindly. Look at his post about XM/Sirius. Sure, many people want to create their own playlists; but many more just want more choices than their own radio market. And the idea that Sirius/XM is about getting information from one company is sort of ludicrous. They are aggregators, with content from left to right, from country to hip hop, from Christian to queer.

  8. Doc gets a bit poetic about the humanizing nature of the Internet sometimes. It must be a lingering effect of the 60s. I certainly don’t believe that something written on a blog “authors me” in any way.

    I concur with post 2, don’t believe in 10 blindly. Look at his post about XM/Sirius. Sure, many people want to create their own playlists; but many more just want more choices than their own radio market. And the idea that Sirius/XM is about getting information from one company is sort of ludicrous. They are aggregators, with content from left to right, from country to hip hop, from Christian to queer.

  9. Hmmmm – this is gettng interesting, but tedious. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, to choose to use words or to not use them – everyone also has words which are ‘hot buttons’ for some reason or another relevant to a prior experience (ie, Joan Crawford’s children and ‘wire hangers’).

    I have made no secret of my distaste for the phrase Web 2.0, but if I refused to use that phrase when engaging with people, when tagging my posts, I would have been left out of many important conversations. With Web 2.0, there are some real problems with that language – its about the Internet and all IP based networks, not just the Web, and versioning should be quite higher. Besides, doesn’t versioning a meme or industry actually connotate the idea of “new and improved, better/faster/cheaper” and all of those hyperbole as marketing tactics that so many dislike – but by doing it in a technical way like software, it is somehow ok. (should have prefaced that with ‘I don’t mean to go off on a rant here…’) Bottom line, I did not have something better, the term had taken hold, so all we could do was parody, return the focus to what is real and deal with it, as we did with Web 2point1 and Web 2point2.

    Regardless, the 5,490,000 results on Google for the phrase “social media” and the 17 Adwords Buyers who are marketing around it speaks for itself. The market is clearly taking to the phrase becuase it is generally descriptive without being absolute and allows for individuals to make their own meaning of it, which gets further refined through conversations with others and what people read/see/hear. This is exactly what happened with Web 2.0 – so maybe some people who dislike the term Social Media are still upset about everything going all 2.0 everywhere and fighting that semantic war here instead.

    Doc is seemingly in agreement with you about the fact that ‘something is going on here’ and says so, referring to the ‘Greater Significance’ and emphasizing that with all caps.

    In the end, as I pointed out in my post on this the other day and you further support above (following on Brian Solis’ post and Jeremiah Oywang’s from a couple weeks back), if you dislike the term, give us a better one and help the conversation move forward – dont just complain and bitchslap the people who are working to crystalize and make real the very sort of things you support.

    BTW – with over 12, going on 13 years of Internet experience, I saw this happen with the phrase New Media too – Social Media references what is new and different today, to separate from what has come before it – 2-3 years from now, it will be as common place as Web sites, and most likely be lumped together under the term ‘MEDIA’, just as all the hype around Web 2.0 will probably be the WEB, as it already is for most of society…

  10. Hmmmm – this is gettng interesting, but tedious. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, to choose to use words or to not use them – everyone also has words which are ‘hot buttons’ for some reason or another relevant to a prior experience (ie, Joan Crawford’s children and ‘wire hangers’).

    I have made no secret of my distaste for the phrase Web 2.0, but if I refused to use that phrase when engaging with people, when tagging my posts, I would have been left out of many important conversations. With Web 2.0, there are some real problems with that language – its about the Internet and all IP based networks, not just the Web, and versioning should be quite higher. Besides, doesn’t versioning a meme or industry actually connotate the idea of “new and improved, better/faster/cheaper” and all of those hyperbole as marketing tactics that so many dislike – but by doing it in a technical way like software, it is somehow ok. (should have prefaced that with ‘I don’t mean to go off on a rant here…’) Bottom line, I did not have something better, the term had taken hold, so all we could do was parody, return the focus to what is real and deal with it, as we did with Web 2point1 and Web 2point2.

    Regardless, the 5,490,000 results on Google for the phrase “social media” and the 17 Adwords Buyers who are marketing around it speaks for itself. The market is clearly taking to the phrase becuase it is generally descriptive without being absolute and allows for individuals to make their own meaning of it, which gets further refined through conversations with others and what people read/see/hear. This is exactly what happened with Web 2.0 – so maybe some people who dislike the term Social Media are still upset about everything going all 2.0 everywhere and fighting that semantic war here instead.

    Doc is seemingly in agreement with you about the fact that ‘something is going on here’ and says so, referring to the ‘Greater Significance’ and emphasizing that with all caps.

    In the end, as I pointed out in my post on this the other day and you further support above (following on Brian Solis’ post and Jeremiah Oywang’s from a couple weeks back), if you dislike the term, give us a better one and help the conversation move forward – dont just complain and bitchslap the people who are working to crystalize and make real the very sort of things you support.

    BTW – with over 12, going on 13 years of Internet experience, I saw this happen with the phrase New Media too – Social Media references what is new and different today, to separate from what has come before it – 2-3 years from now, it will be as common place as Web sites, and most likely be lumped together under the term ‘MEDIA’, just as all the hype around Web 2.0 will probably be the WEB, as it already is for most of society…

  11. So a paper is not “social media?” All media is “social” media in some manner or form.

    We need a grab *ss, cool, catchy name for these new interactive communication tools being created.

    I think it should be “Inferblobbinghimasscom.”

    You heard it here first.

  12. So a paper is not “social media?” All media is “social” media in some manner or form.

    We need a grab *ss, cool, catchy name for these new interactive communication tools being created.

    I think it should be “Inferblobbinghimasscom.”

    You heard it here first.

  13. I’m done with the term social media because no one outside of technology understands it, even if they use it. No one thinks of Flickr sets or Linked In or even MySpace as “social media.” I’m busy thinking what they use to describe it. )Patrick would be one authority, but any non-technical person who uses Flickr or MySpace would be another.

  14. I’m done with the term social media because no one outside of technology understands it, even if they use it. No one thinks of Flickr sets or Linked In or even MySpace as “social media.” I’m busy thinking what they use to describe it. )Patrick would be one authority, but any non-technical person who uses Flickr or MySpace would be another.

  15. What’s wrong with just calling it progress or cool new apps. Not everything needs to be pigeonholed. People hate for things to not have names or be pigeonholed. I’ve never understood this.

  16. What’s wrong with just calling it progress or cool new apps. Not everything needs to be pigeonholed. People hate for things to not have names or be pigeonholed. I’ve never understood this.

  17. Lamont: the human mind is an awesome pattern recognizer. When we see a pattern we like to give it a name. Imagine you had to look at trees every day, but you weren’t allowed to give them a name. How would you talk with other people about that green thing?

  18. Lamont: the human mind is an awesome pattern recognizer. When we see a pattern we like to give it a name. Imagine you had to look at trees every day, but you weren’t allowed to give them a name. How would you talk with other people about that green thing?

  19. Robert: I can see naming an app, but how do you know if something is indeed social media or 2.0 or even merits that designation. What’s the qualifier? AJAX? Internet only? What standard defines something as 2.0 or social media?

  20. Robert: I can see naming an app, but how do you know if something is indeed social media or 2.0 or even merits that designation. What’s the qualifier? AJAX? Internet only? What standard defines something as 2.0 or social media?

  21. I don’t know why we need a name for it. It’s just a natural progression. Gigantic eras like stone age, iron age, information age warrent classification. Something in the making really cannot be named. A revolution usually paves way for a meaningful name – evolutions, not so much. And the web is still evolving.

    Here’s a good test: In this day and age, is it possible to launch a web-based company without it being labelled “Web 2.0″? If the answer is no, why not just call them Internet/Web companies? If yes, then can someone point me to a new non-Web 2.0 company?

    I don’t know why business/marketing types need a buzzword for everything. The web is just growing and evolving. It’s kinda funny, when I introduced my sisters to YouTube, it went something like “…it’s a website that lets you…”. Which is the same language I’ve been using in the pre-“Web 2.0″ age. To non-techy friends, a website is a website is a website.

    I’m not so much against naming things as I am against meaningless names. “Web 2.0″ and “Social Media” are meaningless. “Object-Oriented”, “AJAX” and “Design Patterns” are meaningful (no matter your opinion on them). Jargon is fine, buzzwords are meaningless.

    Come to think of it – maybe the problem is people who think they know what they’re talking about trying to name something they don’t really understand? :)

  22. I don’t know why we need a name for it. It’s just a natural progression. Gigantic eras like stone age, iron age, information age warrent classification. Something in the making really cannot be named. A revolution usually paves way for a meaningful name – evolutions, not so much. And the web is still evolving.

    Here’s a good test: In this day and age, is it possible to launch a web-based company without it being labelled “Web 2.0″? If the answer is no, why not just call them Internet/Web companies? If yes, then can someone point me to a new non-Web 2.0 company?

    I don’t know why business/marketing types need a buzzword for everything. The web is just growing and evolving. It’s kinda funny, when I introduced my sisters to YouTube, it went something like “…it’s a website that lets you…”. Which is the same language I’ve been using in the pre-“Web 2.0″ age. To non-techy friends, a website is a website is a website.

    I’m not so much against naming things as I am against meaningless names. “Web 2.0″ and “Social Media” are meaningless. “Object-Oriented”, “AJAX” and “Design Patterns” are meaningful (no matter your opinion on them). Jargon is fine, buzzwords are meaningless.

    Come to think of it – maybe the problem is people who think they know what they’re talking about trying to name something they don’t really understand? :)

  23. Hey Anonymous, the differences between Web 2.0 and Social Media are night and day. If I talk about an online web application, you’ll pretty much know what I’m talking about. But if I talk to you about media, you’ll have no idea what I could possible be referring to.

    If I say storage media, you’ll think drives. If I say new media, you might think online media/search. If I say traditional media, you might think newspapers. Or portable media, people automatically will align it with iPods or PMPs.

    It’s only a buzzword if you for some reason decide to call it such without understanding what it is.

    It seems more of description in order to frame media in a socialized context rather than hype.

  24. Hey Anonymous, the differences between Web 2.0 and Social Media are night and day. If I talk about an online web application, you’ll pretty much know what I’m talking about. But if I talk to you about media, you’ll have no idea what I could possible be referring to.

    If I say storage media, you’ll think drives. If I say new media, you might think online media/search. If I say traditional media, you might think newspapers. Or portable media, people automatically will align it with iPods or PMPs.

    It’s only a buzzword if you for some reason decide to call it such without understanding what it is.

    It seems more of description in order to frame media in a socialized context rather than hype.

  25. Gawd already, go out and make some, whatever the hell you call it.

    Change term based on who you talk to— there’s no single definition. The faster you can explain a concept to someone and the faster they get it, the better.

    On the yahoo list the terms ‘vlog’ vs ‘podcast’ are up for debate for the 2472897428397489213471987th time.

    Math is hard.

  26. Gawd already, go out and make some, whatever the hell you call it.

    Change term based on who you talk to— there’s no single definition. The faster you can explain a concept to someone and the faster they get it, the better.

    On the yahoo list the terms ‘vlog’ vs ‘podcast’ are up for debate for the 2472897428397489213471987th time.

    Math is hard.

  27. Actually, arguing about terms seems like such a big media issue.

    Hold a meeting about this.

    Lots of them.

    LOTS OF MEETINGS.

    Maybe you’ll find the term.

    Then you can sell it to us in Powerpoint. With pretty graphs.

    Just sayin’.

  28. Actually, arguing about terms seems like such a big media issue.

    Hold a meeting about this.

    Lots of them.

    LOTS OF MEETINGS.

    Maybe you’ll find the term.

    Then you can sell it to us in Powerpoint. With pretty graphs.

    Just sayin’.

  29. I like the points being made about the other descriptives for types of media though – in my discussion with Mike Hudack, available via beercast on Queso Compuesto, we talked about it being participatory, conversational, user generated and many other distinctions, but when trying to capture the spirit of the “something happening here” and the “Greater Significance”, the short hand phrase that I keep coming back to is Social Media.

    While I really like Herschel’s idea for Inferblobbinghimasscom, I thought it should be razzlefrasletonia, pronounced so-shal mi-di-uh.

    More seriously, why is this thing I am writing on called a Blog and not a Web site – because it has some different qualities than a web site, and the purpose of it is also different, despite being much the same in many ways. To Phil Wolfe’s point the other night, a similar debate raged around whether or not to call this thing a Weblog or a Blog. Whoever wanted to call it a Weblog probably still does, but if you check out the trending on that, http://www.google.com/trends?q=blog%2C+weblog you will see that the people who thought of this as a Weblog are not very happy. Same is true of Vlogs versus Video Blogs (pls let’s not carry that argument over to here), but look how that is turning out – http://www.google.com/trends?q=video+blog%2C+vlog (vlogs vs. podcasts was not even comparable)

    Now Google Trends is not the be all, end all judge of these things, but it is a good indicator of what people are thinking about and trying to find out about…

  30. I like the points being made about the other descriptives for types of media though – in my discussion with Mike Hudack, available via beercast on Queso Compuesto, we talked about it being participatory, conversational, user generated and many other distinctions, but when trying to capture the spirit of the “something happening here” and the “Greater Significance”, the short hand phrase that I keep coming back to is Social Media.

    While I really like Herschel’s idea for Inferblobbinghimasscom, I thought it should be razzlefrasletonia, pronounced so-shal mi-di-uh.

    More seriously, why is this thing I am writing on called a Blog and not a Web site – because it has some different qualities than a web site, and the purpose of it is also different, despite being much the same in many ways. To Phil Wolfe’s point the other night, a similar debate raged around whether or not to call this thing a Weblog or a Blog. Whoever wanted to call it a Weblog probably still does, but if you check out the trending on that, http://www.google.com/trends?q=blog%2C+weblog you will see that the people who thought of this as a Weblog are not very happy. Same is true of Vlogs versus Video Blogs (pls let’s not carry that argument over to here), but look how that is turning out – http://www.google.com/trends?q=video+blog%2C+vlog (vlogs vs. podcasts was not even comparable)

    Now Google Trends is not the be all, end all judge of these things, but it is a good indicator of what people are thinking about and trying to find out about…

  31. Doc Searls and Robert Scoble on What’s Wrong with

    I recently ran a post that encapsulated the most current memes on Social Media – what it is, isn’t, and what it should be. I also made a case for why Social Media should be classified as “Social Media.”

  32. I think we should call it the transition because it’s heading from the web path to mobile, and then into 1st life again…

    I have been declaring web 2.0 dead since lift07 because it’s not about the tools anymore, it’s about social. it ‘s not about blogging, it’s about the community…

  33. I think we should call it the transition because it’s heading from the web path to mobile, and then into 1st life again…

    I have been declaring web 2.0 dead since lift07 because it’s not about the tools anymore, it’s about social. it ‘s not about blogging, it’s about the community…

  34. I use the term Social Media day in and day out. The audience I am talking to operate better with a straightforward term to which they can attach meaning, and I can give them that meaning. These are typically non-tech managers in a non-tech company. So in a pragmatic way, it works for me.

    That said … I have been playing with the idea that this thing we are talkinig about is not a thing at all but a process. Therefore maybe the term we use to label it should be a verb and not a noun. I first thought of “Media Socialization”, but unfortunately that carries other connotations, so I have switched to the “Socialization of Media”. For me this simply describes the process of what is happening, without applying a label that will soon be out of date or inappropriate.

  35. I use the term Social Media day in and day out. The audience I am talking to operate better with a straightforward term to which they can attach meaning, and I can give them that meaning. These are typically non-tech managers in a non-tech company. So in a pragmatic way, it works for me.

    That said … I have been playing with the idea that this thing we are talkinig about is not a thing at all but a process. Therefore maybe the term we use to label it should be a verb and not a noun. I first thought of “Media Socialization”, but unfortunately that carries other connotations, so I have switched to the “Socialization of Media”. For me this simply describes the process of what is happening, without applying a label that will soon be out of date or inappropriate.

  36. In my opinion, Henriette and Lee have helped clarify.

    Much of blogging, web 2.0, “social” media uptake has been led by technologists and geeks and quasi-geeks, tho’ the blogging and other related conferences have helped show that some of them are also able to practice some degree or other of interpersonal, social skills.

    And, this is a bit of a mirror for where we’ve been, are at and are moving to. Info technology is getting easier, simpler, faster, more integrated .. web apps, web services, inexpensive, etc. The last 30 + years have been mainly about the technology, with a (very) gradually growing emphasis on usability.

    Now, doing many things .. making and posting visdeo clips, ditto podcasts, rivch blogging, etc. has become much easier than even 5 years ago.

    The next thirty years is all about the sociological and anthropological changes we will and must face as we come to terms with a new set of (hyperlinked and integrated) conditions we humans have never seen before.

    Social media is well named in my opinion, because it helps people be or want to be more “social”, more participative, more engaged-in-ineraction, than most of the forms of media wrapped into the term enabled even a short ten years ago.

  37. In my opinion, Henriette and Lee have helped clarify.

    Much of blogging, web 2.0, “social” media uptake has been led by technologists and geeks and quasi-geeks, tho’ the blogging and other related conferences have helped show that some of them are also able to practice some degree or other of interpersonal, social skills.

    And, this is a bit of a mirror for where we’ve been, are at and are moving to. Info technology is getting easier, simpler, faster, more integrated .. web apps, web services, inexpensive, etc. The last 30 + years have been mainly about the technology, with a (very) gradually growing emphasis on usability.

    Now, doing many things .. making and posting visdeo clips, ditto podcasts, rivch blogging, etc. has become much easier than even 5 years ago.

    The next thirty years is all about the sociological and anthropological changes we will and must face as we come to terms with a new set of (hyperlinked and integrated) conditions we humans have never seen before.

    Social media is well named in my opinion, because it helps people be or want to be more “social”, more participative, more engaged-in-ineraction, than most of the forms of media wrapped into the term enabled even a short ten years ago.